Skills Development for Employment

What is the Programme About?

 A young Albanian during skills development training

Whereas the overall unemployment rate in Albania stands at 14.7%, youth fare considerably worse in the labour market with as many as 27.4% of those actively seeking employment being unable to find one. Shortcomings in the educational and vocational education and training systems, coupled with the challenges to equip youth with knowledge and skills relevant to the labour market, partly contribute to the high youth unemployment rate.

The Albanian Government has committed to transform the economy to become more competitive, innovative and flexible. This calls for tailored support measures that equip the country’s young workforce with the right skills that serve this strategic vision. In this context, the National Employment and Skills Strategy (NEES) 2014-2020 was developed.

The Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) office in Albania and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have provided long-standing support to the Albanian Government’s agenda on employment and skills development.

The Skills Development for Employment (SD4E) Programme builds upon these previous experiences as well as the close UNDP-SDC collaboration.

The objective of this four year programme (December 2014 – December 2018) is to boost the (self) employment of young women and men living in urban and rural areas.

The programme works to:

•    Improve and diversify employment promotion measures and ensure that resources are better managed
•    Introduce entrepreneurship support as an activation measure of the National Employment Service
•    Support the establishment of a regulatory framework for up-scaling work-based learning schemes for priority occupations
•    Establish quality assurance and accreditation systems for more qualitative Vocational Education and Training / Vocational Skills Development institutions and programmes.
•    Provide youth and other relevant stakeholders with better information on the current and future state of the labour market

What have we accomplished so far?

  •  Government funded active labour market measures have been revised leading to one new employment promotion programme which targets orphans and two revised programmes targeting women single heads of households and recent university graduates. These programmes are currently under implementation by the National Employment Services.
  • Scoring system for the allocation of ALMM funds and related criteria reviewed and re-designed, giving priority to those businesses that seeks to employ disadvantaged women, orphans, people with disabilities, youth. In addition, a computerized application management system has been developed and is currently in use by the National Employment Service.
  • A self-employment programme was designed and operationalized targeting youth aged 18-30. During the first phase, 105 youth were enrolled in the self-employment training, 75 completed the training, 60 business canvas models submitted and 38 new businesses were established.
  • Advisory support provided to the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth both in terms of defining the functions of VET providers, as well as harmonizing their functioning and optimizing public investments. This has resulted in MoSWY’s decision to gradually reduce the number of public VET providers to 33 (compared to 39 in 2014-2015 academic year).
  • Process mapping of the licensing and inspection procedures for private vocational training providers in Albania carried out, and a database of private vocational training providers developed, leading to preliminary recommendations with regards to quality assurance of VET provisioning.
  • Self-assessment manual for public VET providers developed.
  • Technical assistance has been provided to the National Agency for Vocational Education and Training and Qualifications (NAVETQ) in leading the revision of the national index of occupations as well as with the elaboration of occupational descriptions for all listed occupations.
  • Action plan for the re-integration of cash assistance beneficiaries into active employment programme prepared and approved by the council of Ministers.
  • The Skills Fair 2016 was organized with the aim of promoting VET. Over 18,000 visitors attended the fair which fostered competition among providers and VET students across 8 different professions.
  • Programme blog established aiming to spark discussion on employment, skills development and innovation related topics across audiences. Over 70 postings have been made since July 2015. During 2016 it has reached over 17,000 visitors.


Who finances it?

Donor Amount in USD
Swiss Development Coopretaion USD 3’157’895
UNDP USD 180’000
Overalll budget USD 3’337’895


Delivery   in USD Year
462,355 2015
856,000 2016

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